Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Googling "Michael Jackson" and "Get a Life"

For reasons beyond me, the TV is on around noon. The media, tens of thousands of fans, celebrities and ticket scalpers are falling over themselves at today's Michael Jackson Staples Center "memorial."

Even those nearest and dearest to me are so into the over-the-topness of it all that they are recording it.

"I'm just doing it for the music," says a Near-and-Dear.

And I'm thinking, "Don't we have better things to do?"

This is sweeping me willy-nilly into the ultimate putdown, "Get a life."

But then I'm thinking about my mental drift, "Hey, Rick, you're being banal."

And then I'm thinking, "How many others are banal enough to link the memorial gnashing and wailing with the put-down 'get a life'?" Just how widespread is this cynical sneering and sniveling of "get a life" about Jackson's ga-ga fans?

A wonderful thing about Google is that you can pretty well sample anything, including how banal one's cynicism.

So I Googled "Michael Jackson" and "get a life."

I got 139,000 matches. A random reading revealed that a small portion of the "get a life" interjection was aimed at the likes of, well, cranks like me. I'm the one who should lighten up and "get a life" about "Jackson," his death, and the mourning festivities.


Still, most of the 139,000 seem similarly cynical. To us, the sudden outpouring of grief for Jackson is absurd and possibly culturally pathological.

The world is melting. The economy is tanking. Millions have no health insurance or have lost their jobs or homes or both. A few dozen wars are being waged around the globe. Children are dying.

And what are the lumpen getting their rocks off on? A dead pop idol of questionable repute.

I believe this is called a "disconnect."

Next? Googling "Michael Jackson" and "disconnect."

I know, I know. I should get a life.

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